Texas Center for Proton Therapy Names Dr. Andrew K. Lee Medical Director
February 09, 2015
IRVING, Texas — Dr. Andrew K. Lee, a renowned leader in oncology and innovator in proton beam therapy cancer treatment, has been named medical director of the Texas Center for Proton Therapy following a global search. Dr. Lee launched proton therapy treatment at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center almost nine years ago, treating the facility’s first proton therapy patient in 2006. In his new role, Dr. Lee will lead North Texas’ first facility offering the most innovative, next-generation proton therapy treatment technology.
The new proton therapy center is a collaboration of Texas Oncology, The US Oncology Network, McKesson Specialty Health, and Baylor Health Enterprises, and is expected to treat its first patients in late 2015.
“Dr. Lee is one of the finest, most experienced, and committed cancer physicians in oncology today. Combining his outstanding clinical skills and expertise with the most advanced proton therapy technology available is a major step forward in cancer care in Texas,” said Dr. Steve Paulson, chairman and president of Texas Oncology. Dallas-Fort Worth is the largest metropolitan area in the U.S. which until now was without a proton therapy treatment facility.
Proton therapy is an advanced form of radiation treatment that delivers precisely targeted radiation to tumors, minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissue, reducing side effects, and allowing patients to maintain quality of life during and after treatment. It is especially effective for pediatric patients whose growing tissues are at increased risk for radiation damage, and in adult patients with cancers in the brain, spine, chest, prostate, mouth, and throat, all of which are surrounded by highly sensitive tissues.
“In bringing the most up-to-date proton technology to North Texas, the leadership of Texas Oncology and its collaborators continue to demonstrate their commitment to enhancing the care of cancer patients, in this region and beyond. I am excited to join the team and contribute to the outstanding vision of this organization,” said Dr. Lee. “Proton therapy not only saves lives, but it reduces side effects, which significantly improves the quality of life for cancer survivors.”
Dr. Lee joins the Texas Center for Proton Therapy following almost 14 years at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, where he pioneered many firsts in the field of proton therapy, including treating the first patient, serving as the first and founding director of the Program for Advanced Technology, and serving as the medical director of the MD Anderson Proton Therapy Center. Dr. Lee was the first physician in North America to treat patients with spot-scanning proton therapy, commonly known as pencil-beam scanning, which enables greater accuracy in tumor treatments compared to traditional proton beam therapy. He also pioneered the use of fiducial markers and image-guidance at MD Anderson to improve tumor localization to optimize the accuracy of proton therapy.
As a dedicated educator in the field of radiation oncology, Dr. Lee has served as the first program director of the MD Anderson Cancer Center Proton Fellowship. His former fellows currently treat patients at MD Anderson and in cancer centers around the country. Professor Lee has been consistently named to the U.S. News & World Report list of Best Doctors in America and was recently recognized at MD Anderson as the first and only radiation oncologist to receive the coveted University Cancer Foundation Faculty Achievement Award in Patient Care.
Dr. Lee is board certified in radiation oncology, specializing in prostate and other genitourinary cancers. He earned his medical degree at the University of Minnesota Medical School and completed his residency in radiation oncology at Harvard Medical School-Joint Center for Radiation Therapy. He also earned a Master of Public Health degree, with an emphasis on clinical effectiveness from the Harvard School of Public Health. He has co-authored more than 100 peer-reviewed articles, abstracts, and book chapters on his research in the areas of prostate cancer and proton therapy, and is internationally recognized as a leader in proton therapy for prostate cancer.
“Our goal at the Texas Center for Proton Therapy is to create more cancer survivors with renowned medical expertise, advanced technology, and the compassionate, personalized care for which Texas Oncology is known,” said Gary Barlow, director of the Texas Center for Proton Therapy. “Having a recognized leader and brilliant physician such as Dr. Lee now heading our medical team will benefit each and every patient that enters our facility.”
About Texas Center for Proton Therapy
Texas Center for Proton Therapy is the North Texas region’s first proton therapy center. The center features latest-generation technology, including pencil-beam scanning and image-guided proton therapy, providing precise radiation treatment with the opportunity to reduce side effects. Texas Oncology and The US Oncology Network, supported by McKesson Specialty Health, and Baylor Health Enterprises, an affiliate of Baylor Health Care System, collaborated to develop a proton therapy facility in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Opened in 2015, the facility provides advanced cancer treatment through Texas Oncology, an independent oncology practice and pioneer of community-based cancer care. For more information, visit www.TexasCenterforProtonTherapy.com or call 469-513-5500.